(Jesus and the woman of Canaan, Codex Egberti, Fol 35v, dated to between 980 and 993)

An ancient Coptic papyrus whose scribe quotes Jesus referring to “my wife” is the first clear recorded statement of a claim that he was married, the Harvard scholar who unveiled the 1,700-year-old fragment said on Wednesday.

But Karen King, Professor at Harvard Divinity School, said the landmark discovery of the fragment still provided no definitive historical answer to the question of whether Jesus had a spouse.

“This is no silver bullet regarding that question,” King told Reuters in an interview in Rome, where she presented her findings.

The fragment, which measures 8 cm by 4 cm (3.1 by 1.6 inches) includes words in ancient Coptic in which a scribe writes: “Jesus said to them, my wife …”.